Peliships

Falling in love with wood grain...

One of the first things I learned when I took up woodworking many years ago was the difference between the grain faces. Of course, today, I'm still not familiar with all the terms but one thing that I did take away is how beautiful grain patterns can be and how that conveys a "truthfulness" to the craft that is woodworking; and by extension, how taking that element to modern furniture design can cultivate a much more honest and organic feel to an otherwise sometimes "cold" aesthetic.

Note how the grains come together on this Small Walnut Peliship.

Note how the grains come together on this Small Walnut Peliship.

My first prototypes are often made with MDF. It's a great inexpensive way to make mistakes. When my second prototype was made with Maple, I was immediately mesmerized by how the grains looked. As I prototyped more, cutting each facet revealed patterns like no other, which is why each Peliship is unique even though the basic idea is the same.

I thought I was the only one that appreciated this organic effect until I met one of the craftsmen who is helping me with the next batch. We ogled over a large maple Peliship for a good 10 minutes the other day. To be quite honest, this idea isn't new. The first hint I had of this was when I worked with white oak. If you ever get a chance. Look at a piece of flat sawn white oak and compare it to rift sawn and then quarter-sawn. I much prefer working with rift and quarter-sawn as it gives furniture a much more modern look. Perhaps it's just my perception of the style but flat sawn is so often seen on older furniture or interior decor. Sapele too has very interesting grain patterns between the sawing techniques.